Russia's Black Sea Fleet beefs up defences amid drone strikes -commander

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet has said its defences are being tightened amid a flurry of Ukrainian drone strikes targeting its home base, the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov told Friday's edition of the military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda ("Red Star"): "In connection with the threat of attacks by robotic surface and underwater systems, we have increased the technical defences of the fleet's main base and of the ships' anchorages."

Sevastopol has repeatedly been attacked with drones since the start of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine has tended to avoid taking direct responsibility for strikes on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia unilaterally annexed after seizing it in 2014.

In the interview, Sokolov said the Black Sea Fleet, whose flagship, the cruiser Moskva, was sunk by Ukraine in April 2022, would receive four new ships in 2023.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)